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Google Search Timeout Blamed on Misbehaving Proxy Servers

It appears that problems with Internet Solutions proxy servers are causing wide spread outages of vital online services for many South Africa broadband users. Many users have been reporting persistent problems accessing well know web sites over the past couple of weeks.

Broadband users report timeouts trying to reach vital services such as Google search for example. The problem is intermittent in some places with users able to get through to Google search results page, but then the service times out when any search result is selected. In other areas user are unable to even reach the Google home page. The problem seems confined to specific areas, for example we are getting a lot of problems reported in the north of Johannesburg, but affected areas do seem to change on a weekly basis.

Personally I have experienced problems accessing Google for the last two weeks but this seemed to come right once I changed my DNS entries to use OpenDNS servers. Whether it was the change in DNS servers or a fix on Internet Solution's side, I am not sure, but after this Google worked again but other sites became unresponsive, trying to reach the open source content management systems Joomla's web site for example often timed out.

The problem is not restricted to Internet Solution consumer ADSL users but is also being reported by users of the AXXESS ADSL service as well, since Internet Solutions provides back-bone services to many of the countries ISPs. Usually service outages such as these are fixed within hours but the reported problems have affected user for several days now. Businesses that are making use of capped ADSL solutions are particularly hard hit since the Internet is now an essential tool in any knowledge based service company.